Hello dudes & dudettes of the internet,
A few years ago , I started to practice yoga so that I could get a good workout in. Little did I know that I would become totally obsessed with it and then become a teacher (ha! You never really know where you’re going to end up!) One of the many things yoga has helped me with is to deal with my anxiety. After coming back from my trip to Asia, I started to have chest pains and little moments of total panic. Thankfully, yoga helped me feel much more centered and gave me a couple of tools that I can whip out anytime I feel like my anxiety is taking me to a dark creepy ally.
Probably one of the biggest reasons anyone starts to do yoga is because they want to relax and feel good, as your goddess self deserves. That is why I want to share with you the 5 (beginner friendly) poses that help me reduce my anxiety. So that you can also feel like a zen buddhist monk.
Seated spinal twist
This pose is one of my all time favourites. It can also be done while laying down on your back, bringing one hip under and letting your knees fall to the opposite side. You can also place blocks in between your legs to help your knees touch the floor. Spinal twist are great when you feel like you’re loosing your shit, because it sends signals to your brain that actually helps to calm your nervous system. Simply bring one leg over the other leg (bent or extended) and hook your elbow on the outside of the knee. And make sure your spine is long and take deep belly breaths.
Forward fold ( cow face)
This one looks harder than it really is. I used to hate this pose but now I totally love it! Find a seated position and bring on leg over the other and try to stack your knees on top of each other. Your legs are both bent and flex both of your feet. Then you inhale find a long spine, and exhale fold forward. I prefer to round my back so that it is more of a resting pose. I find this pose opens my hips, so it releases any tension you might be holding on to. And the forward fold also gives a massage to your inner organs and helps to calm the breath.
Legs up the wall
This one is the ephipany when it comes to getting your shit together. When I travel , I find myself 85% of the time in this pose. This inversion is great because you are doing absolutely nothing, your legs are draining. So the blood goes back to your heart and it doesnt have to work as hard. For extra comfort, place pillows under your head and lower back and bring your hands on your belly, and breathe big belly breaths. You’re welcome!
Single leg side bend
I basically do this pose in all my yoga practices. There so many things that are happening here. Side bend, twist in the upper chest, harmstring stretch. Your mind has no other choice than being absolutely immersed in it. And that’s when the magic happens. Slow your breath here and feel all the feels.
Forward fold (Padangusthasana)
For the record, I am not trying to look at my butt upside down. There are many ways of creating this forward fold ,one of my faves is to simply grab my big toes with my index and middle finger. With the little hook I pull on my toes and bend my elbows side ways so that my chest rest on my tights. Having my head upside down helps me calm my breath and I love feeling the stretch right in the belly of my harmstrings. It’s a total calming pose, do this towards the end of your practice or randomly when you feel stressed out. I promise you won’t regret it!
Light & love, always!